MONTREAL - Playing in their home city will be a boost to the University of Montreal Carabins, but experience will be on the McMaster Marauders side in the Vanier Cup game. Darrel Williams Jersey .More than 20,000 tickets had been sold by the time the teams coaches ad a few players from each side gathered for a news conference on Wednesday ahead of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship football game.A sellout of 23,500, most of the wearing Carabins blue and white, is expected for Saturday afternoons game at Percival Molson Stadium, the Montreal Alouettes home field on the McGill University campus downtown.Were playing on a bigger stage, for sure, but were not feeling any more pressure, said Carabins quarterback Gabriel Cousineau, whose team downed the Manitoba Bisons in the Uteck Bowl at their 5,100-seat CEPSUM Stadium last Saturday. Its an opportunity to play in our city in front of our fans and we hope well give them a good show.The Carabins are in their first Vanier Cup after finally downing the powerhouse Laval Rouge et Or, who had won 11 straight conference titles.The Marauders will be in their third Vanier Cup in four years. They beat Laval in 2011 in Vancouver and lost to the Rouge et Or in 2012 in Toronto.Now they are headed onto their opponents turf to try for a second title.Were excited to be on the national stage and play our best football in front of what know will be an exciting environment and a very blue crowd, said Marauders quarterback Marshall Ferguson, who will be playing his last CIS game. The crowd noise plays into making it more difficult to achieve that goal.Playing far away from home, it should make a difference, but once the balls kicked off, aside from the noise, its all just football. We need to look at the micro and not the macro. Make sure we eliminate errors, turnovers and things like that because thats what wins football games.Coach Stefan Ptaszek said Vanier Cup experience will come in handy. There are 12 players left from their last trips to the final, and the victory in 2011 was perhaps their biggest moment.We were naive, said Ptaszek. We hadnt been to the game in 44 years and that ignorance was bliss.We just let it all hang out and played. Now, being more educated on how good the (Quebec conference) can be and how they can be beastly and overwhelming at times, that knowledge isnt a bad thing. This team doesnt sneak up on us. Were very aware of what were getting into. We cant be overly freaked out by the great film were seeing of Montreal.Some consider Laval and Montreal as the two best teams in the country, but the Carabins needed to lean on their defence to beat Manitoba. The Bisons marched to the Montreal 12 on their final drive, but a fumble recovery by star linebacker Byron Archambault ended the threat.After the game, coach Danny Maciocia stressed the need for better preparation for the Vanier Cup game. Last week, a snowstorm forced his team to abandon its normal practice routine and move to an indoor facility.Maciocia, the former Edmonton Eskimos coach and general manager, called it a learning experience for a group not used to playing this far into the season.I dont think we were as organized as we should have been, said Maciocia. We were able to pull it off and win, so we met again and were much better prepared the second time around.We had a very good practice (Tuesday), which we didnt do last week. But there are a lot of firsts here, for me too. Its not a Grey Cup week. Its student athletes. There are academics. But the fact that we experienced it last week will help this week.A priority will be limiting distractions as Canadian university football gets more attention in one week than it gets all season.We dont have a template of what a Vanier Cup should look like, they do, said Maciocia. Theyve experienced it three times in four years. So this is new to us. Theres a lot of work for us to do on that end of it. If we can manage it, well be OK on Saturday.Ptaszek said many of his players were excited because they have never been to Montreal before, but the coaching staff and the veterans will try to keep them focused on the game.I have 12 student athletes who have been through this, he said. This hype and hoopla and celebration of football is fantastic.A beast of a football team is going to try to kill you on Saturday afternoon. I have 12 young men that know that the toughest game theyll ever play awaits them. So all this stuff is great, enjoy it, but not at the expense of being prepared to play your best game.The Marauders downed Mount Allison 24-12 in the Mitchell Bowl last Saturday led by running back Wayne Moore, who replaced the injured Chris Pezzetta early on and put up 146 rushing yards. Moore is to start in the Vanier Cup.They know theyre in for a tougher test against Montreals aggressive defence, while the Carabins are aware of McMasters solid defence as well. Manitoba had nine interceptions in three playoff games heading into the Uteck Bowl. The Marauders have picked off seven in three playoff games so far.The way the Montreal team plays is very similar, said Ptaszek. They held Laval to no touchdowns in eight quarters of football, and if they need to open it up on offence, they can. They seem to have a similar philosophy to us on game management. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Jersey . Numbers Game looks into the Canadiens securing the services of Thomas Vanek in a trade with the New York Islanders. The Canadiens Get: LW Thomas Vanek and a conditional fifth-round pick. Kendall Fuller Jersey . Johansen scored twice and Derek MacKenzie, Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson also had goals to lead the Blue Jackets to a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, ending a three-game losing skid.LOS ANGELES -- Keith Yandle scored the tying goal midway through the third period and Jeff Halpern netted the winner with 3:05 left, leading the Phoenix Coyotes to a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. Rob Klinkhammer and Mikkel Boedker scored 63 seconds apart in the first period for the Coyotes, who handed the Kings their third straight loss and took over sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference. Mike Smith made 36 saves. Marian Gaborik, defenceman Alec Martinez and rookie Tanner Pearson scored for the Kings, who were without captain Dustin Brown for a second straight game because of a lower body injury. Jonathan Quick stopped 23 shots for Los Angeles, which fell to 21-1 when leading after two periods. Yandle tied it with a slap shot from just inside the blue line after he intercepted defenceman Matt Greenes attempted clearing pass from behind the net. Greene was a healthy scratch in the previous eight games. Halpern put Phoenix ahead 4-3 with a shot from the left circle that appeared to carom off Quicks glove and then the post before it bounced to Coyotes captain Shane Doan for another point blank shot that Quick stopped with a sprawling save. But an overhead replay showed that Halperns shot crossed the goal line before it hit Quicks stick. Quick missed a chance to tie Rogie Vachons franchise record of 171 wins. Darryl Sutter will also have to wait for his 500th regular-seaason victory as an NHL coach. Daniel Sorensen Jersey. . Yandle leads Phoenix with 49 points, including an assist on Boedkers goal. The Kings outshot Phoenix 15-2 in the second period, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Gaborik got the puck in the low slot from Anze Kopitar and took a shot that glanced off defenceman Derek Morris stick and over Smiths glove. It was his eighth goal this season and second in six games since he was acquired from Columbus on Feb. 5. Smith, who leads in games played, starts, saves and shots faced, withstood an early barrage from the Kings before the Coyotes took a 2-0 lead. Klinkhammer scored his 11th goal on a rebound at 6:33, and Boedker added his 17th during a power play. The Kings got within 2-1 when Pearson, in his third stint with the club this season, scored his second goal in 14 NHL games at 17:02 of the first. Los Angeles tied it at 6:50 of the second with Martinezs eighth goal. Phoenixs Martin Hanzal, who returned after missing seven games with a lower-body injury, assisted on Klinkhammers goal. NOTES: The Kings are 126-2-11 in their last 139 regular-season games when leading after two periods. The only other regulation loss was on Jan. 22, 2013 at Colorado. ... Kings F Justin Williams is expected to play in his 200th consecutive game on Thursday. ... Gaborik has 21 goals in 30 career games against Phoenix. ... Pearsons first goal came in his regular-season debut on Nov. 14 against the New York Islanders. ' ' '
The Toronto Blue Jays will send left-hander J. DeMarcus Cousins Jersey .A. Happ to the mound Wednesday afternoon looking to beat the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale of a quick two-game series. Happ is 2-1 over his past three starts, charged with eight earned runs over that time. However, seven of those came in an 11-1 loss at Cincinnati on June 21. Happ then rebounded on Thursday to beat the Chicago White Sox 7-0 behind 7 2/3 scoreless innings of four-hit ball. The 31-year-old struck out eight, moving to 7-4 with a 4.29 ERA on the year. "The goal was to be aggressive, to force contact early, use all four quadrants and just be aggressive," noted Happ, who is 3-3 with a 5.93 ERA in his career versus the Brewers. The Brewers meanwhile, hope that starter Wily Peralta can get locked in on Wednesday afternoon. Though Peralta has won five consecutive starts, he has posted a 4.22 earned run average over that span, one in which Milwaukee has scored at least seven runs four times. The right-handers past two wins both came against Colorado, including Thursdays 7-4 decision at home. Peralta gave up all four runs on eight hits and two walks over six frames, striking out seven. While he improved to 9-5 with a 3.20 earned run average on the year, manager Ron Roenicke still thinks the hurler can improve on the mound. "I thought the last three outings, (Wily) has pitched well, but hes not locked in," said Roenicke. "Now hes struggling to get through the lineups." The 25-year-old Peralta has never faced the Blue Jays, who send left-hander J.A. Happ to the mound today. The Blue Jays halted a three-game skid by taking Tuesdays opener 4-1. Drew Hutchison yielded just one run over seven innings while striking out a season- high 10 batters in his first victory since June 13. Jose Bautista, starting for the first time since June 22 due to a strained left hamstring, and Colby Rasmus each homered for the Blue Jays. Starting as the designated hitter, Bautista hit his 16th homer of the year. Ryan Braun drove in the lone run for the Brewers, who have lost two in a row after winning four straight. Marco Estrada started for Milwaukee and suffered the loss, allowing two runs on six hits over six-plus innings of work. He struck out two and walked one, losing for the first time since June 15. "Things just started going south for me," Estrada said. "I just wasnt really locating. I really didnt know what I was doing, how I was missing and the way I was missing. I was just out there throwing the ball around." Milwaukee could be without outfielder Khris Davis today as he injured his left shoulder on Tuesday diving into second base. The Brewers, who are making their first trip to Toronto since 2005, are 7-3 against the Blue Jays since moving to the National League in 1998. Jason Smith Jersey . Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Wild team that has a nice mix of proven veterans along with young, inexpensive talent on the rise. When the Wild signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, making a big splash in the summer of 2012, it set the franchise on a path to being more competitive, but a big reason that they have been so competitive is the contributions of young players who still have more to give. Stitched Pelicans Jerseys . The Pope greeted Klose at his general audience Wednesday and the pair had a long chat. Klose is German like the pope, although he was born in Poland. In Sundays derby, Lazio took the lead in the seventh minute after Maarten Stekelenburg brought down Klose, resulting in the Roma goalkeeper being sent off and a penalty that Hernanes converted.TORONTO - After an NBA playoff debut that didnt go as well as hed planned, DeMar DeRozan went home and put his feet up. "I sat in my room the rest of the day, I didnt leave the room," DeRozan said. "I didnt turn the TV on. I didnt watch any games. I just cleared my mind. Just understand it was my first playoff game." He fought the urge to go back to the Air Canada Centre for a late-night shooting session. "I thought about it. I really thought about it," DeRozan said. "About 1 a.m. I was going to come back, but I was like: dont put too much pressure on myself. Just get my rest, regroup. Weve got two days until we play, so just get ready. I try not to think so much or stress myself out — just relax." The 24-year-old all-star scored 14 points — well below his season average of 22.7 — in the Raptors 94-87 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in Saturdays Game 1 of the best-of-seven playoff series. The player whose hot hand led the Raptors in their record run to the post-season went cold Saturday. DeRozan, who was the picture of post-season confidence earlier in the week, scoffing that the playoffs werent "rocket science," shot just 3-for-13 from the field. He missed all four of his three-point attempts. He insisted he wasnt nervous. "I think with as much energy was going on, it felt like things were going faster than they were," DeRozan said. While it wasnt the coming-out party any of Torontos playoff rookies had hoped for, they were all breathing a little easier Sunday morning, glad that Game 1 of their series was over and done with. "I think Game 2 is a whole different animal," coach Dwane Casey said. "I think the newness and the shiny part of the playoffs is worn off by Game 2. I think thatll help (DeRozan) tremendously. I think thatll help our whole team." Kyle Lowry, one of the few Raptors who looked unfazed by the playoff pressure in his 22-point performance, agreed. "I think the bright lights will dim a little bit for everyone, everything will calm down a little bit," Lowry said. "I think that first game is always tough at home, because of the excitement, and we have a bunch of young guys. But now its over. Now guys are ready to move on, now were ready to go." Game 2 is Tuesday in Toronto, then the series shifts to Brooklyn for Game 3 on Friday. The series was heated before it even began after the Nets seemingly tanked to fall to sixth-place, preferring to play the inexperienced Raptors. Toronto GM Masai Ujiri then threw gasoline onto the fire Saturday when he dropped an F-bomb when addressing the crowd in Maple Leaf Square, pairing the F-word with Brooklyn. New Yorks tabloid newspapers fought back. The headline on Sundays New York Daily News read: "Dont F*** With Brooklyn! Nets give foul-mouthed Raptors a spanking to take Game 1." The New York Posts front page was a picture of a grinning Paul Pierce with the headline: "After Toronto GM insults Bklyn, Nets shut up Raptors. F#@K YEAH!" The Raptors had put Saturdays drama behind them by Sundays practice at the Air Canada Centre. David Wesley Jersey . "This is about basketball," Casey said. "All that stuff has happened. Were very supportive of whatever Masai said. This is about basketball. I will say this, I thought our fans were fantastic (Saturday). They were great. Ive been in championship arenas, championship games, and this is as big-time as can be. "All the other stuff, what was said, its about basketball. Its about screening. Its about finishing plays. Its about executing defensively. I dont want to get off on another tangent." As for DeRozans less-than-impressive debut, Casey said he thought both DeRozan and Terrence Ross — also making his playoff debut — looked frustrated after they got in early foul trouble Saturday. Ross had just three points on the afternoon. "Young guys have to be somewhere learning to play in the NBA playoffs and this is a great start for (Ross), its a great start for DeMar," Casey said. "Theres no way Im disappointed in their performance. Their point-productivity, yes. But this is a great positive for our organization." DeRozan was asked if one game is enough to adjust to the pressure-packed playoffs. "I dont need a whole nother playoff round to get ready for it," DeRozan said. "I watched a lot of film. I understand. Im definitely not going to make the same mistakes twice. Its adjustments." His teammates are confident theyll see the best of DeRozan in Game 2. "Hes had rough games before. . . hes fine. Im positive hell bounce back," Lowry said. "Hes really focused. Yeah, a rough shooting night. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes the ball dont go in the hole." Why so positive? "Because hes an all-star," Lowry replied. "Theres a reason hes an all-star. He averages what he averages, hes a helluva player, and hes only going to get better." The Raptors are hoping the ACC fans — dressed all in white Saturday and waving white towels, thanks to a T-shirt and towel giveaway — remain as vocal as they were in Game 1. "It was live," Amir Johnson said. "I didnt get to see outside (where hundreds of fans gathered in Maple Leaf Square) but Ive seen pictures on the Internet. It was a pretty dope crowd. "Its big. We need them. We need everybody. The whole country." Saturdays shot-clock debacle should also be behind them. American sports broadcaster ESPN caused the shot-clock malfunction in Game 1, according to a Raptors official. Toronto had to rely on announcer Herbie Kuhn to count down the 24 seconds on each possession after the clocks above the baskets died with 5:57 remaining in the third quarter. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment took blame for using the same power source for the primary and backup shot clocks. The damaged cables in the baskets were replaced and tested Sunday, and the primary and backup clocks are no longer using the same power source. ' ' '